Why I Don’t Have Any New Year’s Resolutions (and Maybe You Shouldn’t Either)

by Jo on January 1, 2012

I got sober on an unexpected evening in June.

 

I inhaled my last Marlboro light

in the early hours of a September morning

 

I’ve pledged to be more kind

more present

less selfish

once in March, twice in August, a half -dozen times between Halloween and Thanksgiving

 

Today I woke up without a hangover

for the sixth New Year’s in a row

(How RAD is that? I used to have one every other day for YEARS; Didn’t KNOW it could be any other way!)

and I believe, more than ever

that real change, the kind that alters our lives in ways we never imagined, the kind that leaves us fully present in a life that finally

feels worth living

comes when we are ready

 

It comes when we open our hearts

when we quiet our minds

when we admit mistakes but do not dwell on them

when we retire self-destructive thoughts

that lead to self-destructive behaviors

 

Real change happens

when we commit ourselves to living in a way

that brings peace and inspiration and joy not just to our lives

but to those we meet along the way as well

 

I get it

I know you want to

lose weight

quit smoking

stop biting your nails

run a marathon

organize your garage

write thank you cards

go to church more

spend less money

help the homeless

and

learn another language

(among other things, right?)

 

And I can understand the almost cleansing feeling of leaving behind a year that may have left you feeling a little

unfulfilled and unaccomplished

 

I’ve tried it that way too, trust me

I’ve put entire Years on pedestals

promising grand things

only to fall far from Grace when things didn’t go according to my Plan

 

So might I suggest that

if you start feeling overwhelmed or like giving up

that you give the Year a break

and you try it my way

 

Look at each Day, Every 24 Hours

as an opportunity to do something  amazing (like get sober. quit smoking. train for a marathon.)

or ordinary (like organize your garage. spend less money. write a thank you card)

It’s an incredible feeling to know that every time the sun comes up

your potential for progress and change rises right along with it

 

I’ve seen miraculous things happen in small doses

watched as minutes turned into hours turned into days turned into weeks turned into months turned into

SIX YEARS of ringing in the New Year sober

something that wouldn’t have been possible

if I didn’t live those years

One Day at a Time.

 

So instead of an entire Year

I urge you to not bite off more than you can chew (especially if like me, you’re trying to lose some weight) and instead focus on

365 DAYS filled with 24 HOURS of opportunity

for change.

 

Photo courtesy inquisitr.com

 

 

 

 

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Loren January 2, 2012 at 3:37 am

Amen, sing it sister! (And congrats on the 6 years with no hangover!)

Reply

Britton Minor January 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm

YES!

Reply

Lin Winkley January 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I loved your article! I have decided to quit smoking and believe me this is not a New Year’s resolution! I’ve tried so many times before and have always gone back to smoking. It was my haven of rest, my constant companion, my never failing friend. I knew the health hazards and still continued with my habit. Now, for the first time, I have a sense of peace that I’ve never experienced before. I don’t feel pressured. I don’t have a sense of urgency. I don’t feel like I am doing this for anyone else but me. For the first time I can actually visualize myself as a non-smoker. I can feel my breath becoming deeper and fresher even though I am still smoking right now. Once again, thank you so much for writing what you did!

Reply

Aggie January 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I was totally biting my nails when I read “stop biting your nails”…Im so proud of you and all of your milestones Johanesburg! Lets make today, and the rest of 2012 a joyful one…you inspire me. love you.

Reply

outoutout March 1, 2012 at 6:33 am

Hope you don’t mind if I read a bit more of your blog. This is a great post here!

Reply

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